Spirituality and Psychotherapy: In Pursuit of Common Ground
July 30, 2022
For over a century, psychiatry and religion have had a rocky relationship. Thankfully, McLean’s new Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program is designed to get that relationship onto smoother ground.
“Sigmund Freud was virulently anti-religious,” said David H. Rosmarin, PhD, ABPP, director of McLean’s Spirituality and Mental Health Program, a hospital-wide initiative, which includes the CPE program. Rosmarin noted that most freestanding psychiatric hospitals do not have chaplaincy services due to the historic rift between psychiatric treatment and religion.
“Our research has found that more than half of our patients profess a desire to integrate spirituality/religion into their care, and many aspects of spirituality are relevant to patients’ recovery, in both positive and negative ways,” he said.
To address this dichotomy, McLean chaplain and ACPE-certified educator Rev. Angelika A. Zollfrank, MDiv, BCC, through philanthropic support, has established the CPE program to train clergy, theological students, and budding chaplains to work with psychiatric patients and bring their lessons back to their congregations or other professional settings.